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The Confederacy's legacy: Should any of it stand?

What should we do about streets, schools and public buildings named after Confederates? It is important to eliminate hurtful images that glorify or legitimize the Confederacy's disgraceful values. But to what extent should we preserve symbols of the Confederacy for their educational value as reminders of that dark period in our nation's past?

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To fix Pennsylvania's school problems, go with what works

Instead of implementing experiments with no documentation of positive impact, let's use proven practices that actually have a history of working in the classroom: smaller class sizes, increased time for instruction in the classroom, and additional support services for children who are growing up in difficult circumstances.

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Taking a stand (literally) for health in schools

We can't put every kid through multi-year personalized health coaching, but we can let him or her do something they inherently want to do anyways — stand up and move. Standing desks can help students burn 15 to 25 percent more calories a day and can increase cognition and concentration.

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Is special education racist?

More than six million children in the U.S. receive special-education services for their disabilities. Of those age 6 and older, nearly 20 percent are black. The real problem is that black children are underrepresented in special-education classes when compared with white children with similar levels of academic achievement, behavior and family economic resources.

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Nevada's new educational savings accounts are education's Wild West

Nevada is the new frontier for school choice, with a big opportunity to succeed or fail with its universal access and substantial funding levels. Whether $5,200 will provide equitable access, whether the supply side can create new quality schools, and whether parents can access quality information will be the factors that will significantly shape the market.

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Upgrading school with a startup mentality

It used to be that you risked detention for disrupting an elementary school classroom. Nowadays, disrupting a school system can earn you startup funding. A case study explores a new breed of "microschools" focused on reducing costs, enhancing educational impact, prioritizing customer satisfaction, and using technology to create continuous improvement.

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No more criminal prosecution of school truants in Texas

Texas can finally say goodbye to its failed experiment with criminal prosecution of truants. Measures that help schools crack down on habitual truancy should be supported, but putting children through a criminal trial system leading to fines and potential jail sentences was overkill.

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Albany must keep the charter cap

Raising the cap is unnecessary. New York's charter schools already are not handling their assigned share of students. Charters also receive funding when school starts for a certain number of students yet many actually end up teaching fewer than they are budgeted for. In addition, we need to have more transparency to audit charter schools to avoid fraud.

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Chicago Public Schools on the brink

A new report on Chicago Public Schools system says that the long-term outlook is bleak, but the short-term is even worse. Even with huge tax increases, more state aid, increased state funding of teacher pensions, salary and benefit concessions from teachers and more, CPS would still face an annual $350 million shortfall over the next several years.

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The lifelong inequality borne of the summer learning gap

Lack of access to summer learning is part of a year-round cycle that contributes to the achievement gap. We need to expand learning time for low-income kids by accepting that different models can successfully do so, that funding for must be sustainable and targeted and that the programs be held accountable for results.

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